Born: April 4, 1939 (Hobbs, NM)
Graduated: Hobbs (NM) High School, 1958; University of Kansas, 1961
Deceased: September 25, 2015 (Los Angeles, CA)
A native of Hobbs, New Mexico, Bridges was recruited to the University of Kansas by Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Dick Harp in 1958. Following in the footsteps of noted Jayhawk big men like Clyde Lovellette, B.H. Born, and Wilt Chamberlain, Bridges had some big shoes to fill but he was more than up for the task.
Consistency was the key for Bridges. In his first year of eligibility as a sophomore, Bridges set the tone for his KU career by leading the team in rebounding and finishing second in scoring on his way to earning first-team All-Big 8 honors. He would repeat those feats again as a junior and senior, and added a first-team All-American selection in 1961 as well.
Despite only playing three years in Lawrence, Bridges was the first player to total more than 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points as a Jayhawk, a feat only three others in the history of the program can match. Bridges career rebounding average of 13.9 per game is only topped by fellow Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee, the great Wilt Chamberlain.
Bridges carried that same consistency on to the professional level as well. After being drafted in the third round of the NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks, Bridges went on to play thirteen professional seasons with the St. Louis Hawks, later known as the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Golden State Warriors. Bridges compiled over 11,000 points and rebounds in his professional career which saw him earn three trips to the NBA All-Star game in 1967, 1968, and 1970. Bridges also won an NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors in 1975.
In perhaps the greatest marker of consistency, for his entire collegiate and professional career, Bridges averaged a double-double in points scored and rebounds.
At the time of his passing in 2014, Anson ranked twenty-fifth all-time in Division II baseball coaching wins with a career record of 867-820-3 at Wayne State and Washburn combined. Anson’s 844 wins in a Washburn uniform also make him the winningest coach in school history.